Hearing is an important tool for connecting a person to the outside world. In cases of hearing impairment, the brain load in the temporal lobe narrows, attention is overloaded, and cognitive abilities of the person (thinking, memory, learning ability) are reduced.
In addition, low hearing creates problems when communicating with other people and limits the adaptive capacity of a person. If your ears are not heard well, you should consult your otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) in the near future.
Hearing loss in another way is called deafness. The state is distinguished in degrees, depending on how far a person hears spoken language.
Degrees of hearing loss
|Threshold of sound perception||Distance of spoken speech of hearing|
|Easy - 1 degree||26-40 decibels||4-6 meters|
|Average - 2 degrees||41-55 decibels||1-4 meters|
|Heavy - 3 degree||56-70 decibels||0,25-1 meter|
|Deep hearing loss - 4 degree||71-90 decibels|
|Deafness||> 91 decibels|
Why is hearing reduced?
About 8% of the world's population have hearing problems, in fact, this figure is understated. Since not everyone treat this problem with specialists. Men suffer from hearing loss more often than women. The most commonly acquired hearing problems begin after 50 years.
- peripheral part (external, middle ear), conductive sound
- sensory epithelium of the inner ear, perceiving the signal
- auditory nerve imparting impulse
- and the central part analyzing the incoming information (cortical analyzer or a portion of the cerebral cortex in the temporal lobe).
Hearing loss can be associated with injuries or diseases of any part of the auditory pathway. In addition, a frequent cause of a decrease in hearing capabilities are problems with blood supply to the ear or brain.
Conductive Hearing Loss
When the reason lies in the violation of sound on the outer and middle ear, talk about conductive hearing loss.
- External auditory canal can close the sulfur plugs
Sulfur is the natural secret of the outer ear, which, with poor hygienic care, frequent inflammatory diseases of the ears or mechanical stimulation of the ear, can accumulate in the form of dense plugs that prevent the sound wave from passing. The problem is more often two-sided and is directly related to the habit of peeling ears with cotton swabs, matches or other unsuitable items. Ears should not be cleaned, but washed. This rule is appropriate to know for adults and children. More about sulfuric plugs .
- Foreign bodies of auditory hike
This is a more childish problem. Toddlers often thrust in their ears small balls, berries or detail from LEGO. The process is usually one-sided, although the craftsmen are clogging both ears at once. Adults are more likely to suffer from insects that have crept into the ear or matchheads that have broken off when cleaning the ears. It's easier to warn than to try to remove the smallest detail in your ear.
Medium catarrhal or purulent otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) due to effusion can significantly reduce hearing from both one and two sides (see otitis symptoms in children ). If an abscess is opened on the tympanic membrane, and an aperture is formed, then until the moment of its healing or operative restoration the hearing may be completely absent on one or both ears. If the healing of the tympanic membrane occurs with the formation of a large or coarse scar, this will cause a permanent deterioration of hearing on the affected ear.
- Mechanical trauma of the tympanic membrane
This is the result of thoughtless eavesdropping. The barotrauma of this department is the result of an impact by a sound wave or high pressure. Most often it is received by those who were hit with the palm of the ear, hunters who were shot over the ear, as well as diver-losers.
- Furuncles of the auditory canal at considerable sizes and due to edema may also depress hearing.
Deafness sensorineural or neurosensory is a consequence of problems with the host: the inner ear, 8 pairs of cranial (pre-cochlear) nerves or cortical and stem centers of the auditory analyzer.
Congenital variants of neurosensory hearing loss - they often appear when the sensory epithelium of the inner ear is underdeveloped. Most often, the infectious processes suffered by the mother during pregnancy are guilty of this.
Congenital hearing loss in a child
- With intrauterine infection of rubella, a child can be born with Greg's triad (deafness, heart disease and eye damage).
- Syphilis of the fetus also leads to deafness.
- Vertical infection with chlamydia in the process of childbirth can cause a hearing loss in a newborn.
- Deep prematurity (at terms up to 32 weeks) does not allow the neurosensory device to mature and leads to hearing loss.
- At mothers-alcoholics and drug addicts because of the ototoxic effect of the substances taken, children are often born with a deafening hearing.
- Congenital inherited malformations - aplasia of the snail and labyrinth: Mondini, Scheibe, Michael, - the causes of congenital deafness. Gervell's syndromes (hearing loss and heart defect), Pendred (hyperplasia of the thyroid gland and deafness), Usher (retinitis and hearing loss), Wardenburg (eyes of different colors, frowning, gray strand over the forehead and deafness), Stickler (strong myopia, Gothic sky, early cataract, hearing disorders) are also hereditary congenital diseases.
- Children with Down's Syndrome are often deaf and hard of hearing from birth.
Sensorineural hearing loss
Sensorineural hearing loss can be acquired in childhood or adulthood. In the first place of its causes - violations of hearing hygiene.
- Long exposure to loud sounds (louder than 90 decibels) leads to a disruption in the perception of high frequency sounds.
- The elderly suffer from presbyacusis, that is degeneration of the hearing aid.
- Abuse of headphones affects the auditory nerves and is known as the "telephone operator disease". Pathology is associated with a violation of the myelin sheath of the auditory nerve. This is actually the chronic neuritis of the auditory nerve , in which inflammation interferes with impulses to be carried out normally.
- Low frequencies of perception of sounds fall out with Meniere's disease , accompanied by frequent systemic dizziness and loss of balance, hearing loss and noise in the ears.
- Traumatic injuries of the temporal bone, cochlea. 8 pairs of cranial nerves, the cerebral cortex in auditory centers may cause secondary sensorineural hearing loss from one or both sides.
- Viral infectious diseases (measles, mumps , herpes, rubella) can damage the auditory nerves.
- Bacterial lesions of the labyrinth, temporal bone, Eustachian tube or meninges lead to deafness or deafness.
- Autoimmune diseases (eg, Wegener's granulomatosis) become the root cause of otosclerosis and hearing loss.
- Chronic allergic rhinitis causes catarrhal chronic otitis, which often leads to hearing loss in childhood.
- Otosclerosis or proliferation of bone and connective tissue in the inner ear can lead to persistent hearing loss.
- Tumors of the pre-lumbar nerve (neurinoma), neoplasms of the cerebellopterygium or meninges can lead to hearing impairment.
A number of medicines have ototoxic effect
- Aminoglycosides (kanamycin, gentamicin, streptomycin, amikacin), especially in combination with furosemide, give hearing loss.
- By themselves, diuretics, like antibiotics of the macrolide group (josamycin, azithromycin), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can cause reversible hearing impairment, which occurs after withdrawal of drugs.
Bradycardia in the presence of blood supply disorders
Often neuropathologists, in addition to complaints of pain in the head or neck, tinnitus and ringing in the temples , disturbances of sleep and memory can be heard from patients: "I hear badly with one ear." The patient with such complaints, in addition to the planned examination of the ENT, was shown a more in-depth study of the vessels of the neck (UZDG) and images of the spine in two projections.
Such a decrease in hearing can hide the syndrome of the vertebral artery, the blood flow through which worsen osteochondrosis changes in the cervical spine or stenosis of the carotid arteries, which even threatens with ischemic stroke. In vascular hearing impairment, patients should receive twice a year courses of vasodilator drugs and disaggregants. If conservative therapy is unsuccessful, the question of surgical intervention on the vessels may arise.
In acute violations of the cerebral circulation, in the case of involvement in the focus of 8 pairs of cranial nerves (pre-vertebral cochlea), persistent hearing loss can be observed. in which case the patient is guided by a standard program of treatment and rehabilitation after a stroke.
Poor ear hears what to do
All obstacles in the path of the sound wave must be eliminated.
- Sulfur plugs and foreign bodies
They are removed in an outpatient setting with an otolaryngologist. A few days before the procedure, the doctor may recommend instilling hydrogen peroxide. Further, the doctor blows his ears on the Politzer or flushes the plugs. Foreign bodies from the auditory canal are also removed by the doctor.
- Average otitis media
Otitis at the stage of catarrhal inflammation can be treated with otipax or albucid in droplets. Since the purulent process, local (Polydex) or systemic (macrolides, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones) are connected with antibiotics. Droplets in the ear are prohibited when perforating the tympanic membrane. Treatment of otitis may be supplemented with inflammatory and analgesic. Necessarily in parallel with an otitis to treat a rhinitis (Vibrocilum, Rinoflumitsili). Camphor alcohol is used only in compresses at the stage of catarrhal otitis. In his ear do not drip because of the risks of otosclerosis.
- The furuncle in the ear is treated with antibiotics, antiseptics and surgical treatment.
- Persistent or too large perforations of the tympanic membrane can be restored operatively by means of tympanoplasty.
Correction of sensorineural hearing loss
Only an acute form of neurosensory hearing loss, for example, against the background of the neuritis of the auditory nerve, can be fully cured. This means hearing loss, which developed sharply for 72 hours and affected one or both ears. Often patients complain: "I hear bad after a cold."
Although up to two-thirds of patients can subsequently receive an improvement even without therapy, otolaryngologists consider the wait-and-see tactics incorrect. At the same time from the very first days of treatment, glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory drugs are used in tablets or injections.
- With residual effects of deafness, drugs are injected into the ear or transtimpanally. Widely used drugs of a vascular orientation, dextrans and decongestants today are inferior to glucocorticoids and are prescribed only for acute hearing loss in the presence of circulatory disorders (strokes).
- With Meniere's disease, Betaserc and Idebenone are effective, as well as diuretics that reduce the amount of endolymph in the cochlea.
- With chronic forms of hearing loss, it is often necessary to resort to hearing aids. In the first place today, especially in children's practice, cochlear implants come out - hearing aids that can be placed inside the ear for permanent socks. They are small in size, do not cause discomfort and directly stimulate the auditory nerve.
- Hearing aids of various modifications from BTE to in-the-ear require individual selection and a certain time for getting used to. Many patients, especially the elderly, refuse hearing aid because of poor-quality device selection and inconveniences when it is worn.
Alternative ways of hearing restoration
- способен улучшать кровоснабжение внутреннего уха и коры головного мозга. Massage of the auricles is capable of improving the blood supply to the inner ear and the cortex of the brain. His version - acupuncture massage or qigong techniques, borrowed from Chinese medicine. Auxiliary tool. Which alone does not solve the problem.
- – физиолечение, не решающее проблему кардинально. Microcurrent reflexotherapy is physiotherapy, which does not solve the problem crucially.
- способны расширить диапазон воспринимаемых звуков. Audio games can expand the range of perceived sounds. More suitable for training healthy ears.
- с произношением согласных звуков, проталкиваемых из ротоглотки в ухо, а также тренировки с звуковоспроизводящими устройствами – невредное развлечение на этапе самостоятельных занятий. The method of M. Norbekov with the pronunciation of consonant sounds pushed from the oropharynx into the ear, as well as training with sound reproducing devices, is a harmless entertainment at the stage of independent studies. From the moment of attraction to paid courses - sectarianism, harmful to health and a pocket.
Thus, hearing loss is a serious problem that can and must be tackled. In case of acute hearing impairments, the most immediate tactic is an immediate reference to a doctor. After all, lost time can result in persistent hearing loss.